My husband is a Scot who has been waiting for his country to become independent. Many of you know that in 2014 Scotland held a stay-or-go vote regarding its relationship to Britain, and by a margin of 10% decided to stay.
A 4% decision to leave the EU as the United Kingdom means Scotland is going to hold another referendum (as such votes are known) about leaving Britain. Jack is doing a happy dance right now.
Me, I’m the American wife. I do a lot of “yes dear” and “mhmm” because for me it’s about him, not the nation. Big unions break apart, powerless countries try to form unions to become big. As the proverb goes, seven times down, eight times up. And vice versa. I want my husband to be happy; I don’t care what the world does.
And I have to admit, that reaction might be tempered by a lot of writers, women writers, who described great political upheavals and their (often bloody) aftermaths less in terms of the significant impacts for the world, than as stories of the people they saw having their lives involuntarily changed: Anne Bradstreet in the 1600s; Vera Chapman watching her generation’s men fall in World War I; Barbara Tuchman describing Germany’s tug-of-war from the Middle Ages to now. Over and over, big political moments come down to a couple of simple things: peace and prosperity. To get these, men fight about who is going to rule, and then women clean up.
Given that two of the key players in this EU-UK divorce are Angela Merkel and Nicola Sturgeon, women clean up in many different ways. Sturgeon has already announced a Scottish referendum is coming. The promises reneged on after the 2014 vote will probably swing this one to Scotland actually leaving this time—and then promptly joining the EU as its own country. Scotland 2020, in more ways than one.
It will be interesting to see what Brexit does to the stock market, what the rest of the EU countries do. In our house, we already know what Scotland’s going to do, and that’s the ball we’ll be keeping our eye on. Brexit 2016, Scotland 2020. I want what Jack wants. Jack wants what Scotland wants. And the world is a different place now.